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Monday, August 8, 2016

You Just Can't Go Home Again

Sigh.  You really can't go home again.  No siree.

We were up in Oconto this past weekend, at our grandchildren's birthday parties (will write another blog about that once I get all the pics done)

We drove past our old house.  Oh my.....

It's been four years now since we sold the house.  I can honestly say it was in pretty darn near pristine condition when we sold it, both inside and out.  We worked hard to make the best appearance both on the inside and the exterior.

Imagine our dismay when we drove past it on Saturday.  
I snapped a few pics as we went slowly past.  

The front yard is filled with some planting frames and fences of some kind.. perhaps grapes or vines or whatever.  The mound system for the septic is left growing wild and not mowed.  But I am not talking about that, I am talking about the log exterior of the home.  ACK!

The log exterior is all faded, black and appears moldy!  It looks like there isn't any finish left or sealant on the logs, and they are weathered and graying.  The pine knots are all drying out which means they fall out or get loose, and will let water intrude.

This house was built in 1995 as a framed in unfinished shell, 
we bought it in 1997 and finished it up ourselves and added the garage.

The garage seems to be in a little better shape, 
but still lacking sealant or stain on those knots. 

Here are pictures of the exterior when we sold it in 2012.  It's a far cry from the shape it is now after four years of neglect. 

Located on an acre of waterfront land on the Oconto River.

Yup.. this is how the front yard looked in 2012. 

We thought we did a really good job of preparing the home for market,
de-cluttering the excess, and fixing anything that needed to be done.

It sold in 30 days --- cash! 

I felt it had such a welcoming exterior and we kept the wood in great condition, staining and sealing it every other year to make sure it was in tip top shape. 

The three stories overlooked the river to the rear of the property.  It was so pleasant and peaceful there.

We spent a lot of evenings on the wraparound decks and under this little gazebo.... watching ducks and deer and turkeys and a big ole groundhog that lived on the banks of the river.  Oh, and of course, the coons that came up on the deck every night and robbed the birdfeeders!

The inside was all gleaming gold lovely wood as much as the outside. Here are the interior pics from our sales brochure: 

The woodburning fireplace helped with the heat bills,
but I am sure glad we have a gas log fireplace now.
(no more hauling ashes, splitting wood or searching for newspaper to light the fire!)

But we were cozy.... and warm! 

 The kitchen we designed ourselves had hickory cabinets
and plenty of countertops and cupboards to do all my baking, canning and cooking.

You have to realize that we completely finished the interior ourselves from bare studs and plywood floors.  We nailed every nail, laid every floor tile, did all the plumbing, electrical, plus stain and trim.

 Our master bedroom loft was like sleeping in a wooden tent! 

This is the view we woke up to every morning, 
facing over the river

I adored our large bathroom, 
with washer and dryer hidden behind the mirrored doors.
I spent a lot of time relaxing in that big whirlpool tub, for sure.

These were my silly rustic bronco doors leading to the walk-in closet 
from the master bath.
I wonder if they are still there? 

It's the same pine tree motif we put on the outside shutters too.

The lower walkout level had another bedroom, a full bath,
and all the extra room for my studio which could be used as a family room... 
or put back into two more bedrooms again.

Before we put it on the market, we installed all new fresh carpeting,
in case the new owners didn't want a home that had dogs in it. 
The huge livingroom was 24x16

I don't even want to imagine what the inside looks like now.  After seeing the outside, that is enough.

Don't get me wrong, I don't miss it.  We could never afford to continue to own this home in our retirement as the ever-increasing taxes in Oconto County were a challenge to our budget. As well as the fact that the upkeep of log homes combined with us gradually becoming old people--- doesn't blend too well.  The maintenance would have been rough in our senior years.  We only bought it to raise our kids in a nicer small town school system, out of the big city.  We knew it was an investment to buy it, finish it, and then sell it later, which we did.

It just hurts to see something we worked so hard on, put our hearts and souls into, now falling into disrepair. Sigh.

Nope, you can never go home again. It's not the same.


  1. So sad to see your beautiful home to be run down, and in just 4 short years! I remember a magnificent house we lived in, in Wakefield, MA when I was a kid. We lived there for 6 years and it was a beautiful old house. It was over 200 years old when we lived there. I drove by about 10 years later and it looked so sad. There was a soda vending machine on the front porch. You are so right, "You can't go home again."

  2. Ya know, the thing about selling something is that it no longer belongs to you. I’ve always felt that whether for good for for bad I’d best let go of my attachment to a place or a thing before I sell it because once it belongs to someone else they have no obligation to share our vision of what it should be. Feeling bad about someone else’s stewardship doesn’t put you in a good place. Things change for all sorts of reasons.

  3. Yeah, that really is hard to see! We've driven past ours once or twice in the 4 years since we sold it, but can't really see what kind of condition it's in (too far from the road), and I guess I really don't want to know!

  4. WOW, so sad for you and Steve. Awe, that just takes the wind out of your sails. Well, they need stained more often for sure. God bless you as you carry on.................... Sure is still in your heart ♥ And always will.

  5. It's hard to see a home that you have put so much of yourself into begin to lose it's glory. The house we sold about 10 years ago is going downhill quick. It's hard to drive by and see how much work it needs, knowing you can't let needed repairs go very long with a house that is now almost 110 years sold. We are glad we no longer have the upkeep on it but had hoped someone would continue to work on it as we did. It's sad.

  6. I feel your pain. When I was in Oregon last year I went back to see our home on the Willamette River. No one was living in it and looked like they hadn't been for a while. The back sliding door was open and I let myself in. The house's water was turned off and winterized, and I found out later online that the house was in foreclosure. Someone had left doors or windows open at one point and my beautiful kitchen counters were filled with bird doo doo. We had remodeled the whole main living level with help from an interior designer. The ceiling in the master bath looked like there had been a roof leak and there was a big black moldy patch in the master bath ceiling. I was sad I had stopped by.

  7. I have not been near or at my Grandmothers house since 1979 after she passed away. My cousin bought the house from my Aunt Lucille and her 2 younger sisters. They are all in a better place now. Anyway one of my cousins drove by it and sent me some pictures of it. Gone is that beautiful Old Oak Tree, and the grass and all of the shrubs and flowers that I remember when I was a child. I too feel your pain what looks great to you and I, looks like a dump to others. Things change you have your memories.

  8. No ... Going back is not good but the wonderful memories and photos can't be taken away from you. What a beautiful home it was.

  9. When we lived in Pennsylvania, we had a beautiful big seven room ranch style redwood home. The previous owners had put layers of varnish on it. It was all peeling off. It took lots of work but I got it all off down to the beautiful wood, and then stained it. I went back there a few years ago and was so disappointed when I saw the old home. It was so run down and neglected, it made me sick.

  10. We have learnt that lesson ourselves a few times. It is so hard when you know all the hard work you put into it and then to see it deteriorate because the people who bought it maybe don't know what it required to look after a house like that. You both did a marvelous job on the house, so just try to keep that picture in your memory, not the one that you just saw.


  11. I remember your beautiful home very well but would never have recognized it as it is now. I had a similar situation the last time I drove past my old house in North Carolina - the new owner let all the landscaping go and trees and large bushes are everywhere, hiding any view of the house. Sad, isn't it.

  12. What a beautiful place to raise your family. And a great adventure you are having now.

  13. Sad to see, but I'm sure you are enjoying the new adventure now. Seeing so many places that you've both heard or read about. It's hard to turn the page sometimes. I feel that way too, also not knowing where your headed when the next page is turned.


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